Opening with the title track “Awake,” the drumbeat that has been replicated on basement kits everywhere gives instant memories of front flips off the couches and beds to then be traded in for stages and crowds. While only a minute and forty seconds, Trash Talk is gripping and continues to break through a sonic wall on “Awake.”
There are five tracks in total, making Awake a constant motion between being thrashed and being assaulted sonically, giving Trash Talk this upper hand to continue an onslaught. With the lead vocals from Lee Spielman and backing shouts from bassist and vocalist Spencer Pollard, “Awake” is a consistent falling motion until the last moments are played. With extra guitar work from David Gagliardi and Garrett Stevenson, The percussion is handled by Sam Bosson and is more punchy and straightforward than their previous work.
By the time Awake hits “Blind Evolution,” Trash Talk has already been through their standout introduction, giving the audience kicks to the head, and come back ripping. The guitars on “Blind Evolution” are especially volatile and etch like a railroad spike against the skin. Sometimes the real fun of hardcore, especially when dealing with bands like Trash Talk comes from the pain that can be inflicted during their live performances. The energy is unmatched and gives a great reason to try out all those practiced flips from the bedroom.
The lyrics that often describe the nihilistic or the down-and-out come from Spielman who illustrates on “Blind Evolution” as a roughed-up prophet. “You take and take and take, you strip until I’m stripped. You bend until I break, pulled apart at the seams, it seems. Like everything you wanted in life was just a dream,” as the shouts grow louder and louder from the balcony of kids clamoring to reach for the microphone. Exclaiming primarily from the pits of their stomach, “I don’t care where you’re going, I just care that you’re gone. I don’t care about your movement, I just want to move on.”
By the end of Awake, the vocals become hoarse, the strings snapped, and the cymbals bent. Trash Talk is a solid blueprint of how ugly hardcore can be from the crushed concrete to the explosive fireball of chaos that follows.